Hello and welcome to our look at some new releases at the Johnson County Library! Each month we look at five fiction titles making their debut that we think you should know about. You might not find these books on the bestseller lists, but that's okay, as we love putting the spotlight on books you might not have heard about. Give one - or more - of these titles a chance to make it in your hold list. We hope you find something new!
BOY SWALLOWS UNIVERSE by Trent Dalton is a powerful debut novel about a boy’s coming of age while living in an Australian slum is much more than it seems and is also based off the author’s true experiences. Living along the poor, the mentally ill, and heroin dealers of A Brisbane slum, young Eli tries to do the right thing, but receives mixed messages from those around him focused on survival. Raised by a ex-con, his mother in prison, and paired with an older brother who refuses to speak due to trauma, Eli falls in love and tries to save his mother while avoiding trouble from local drug lords. This is a funny and heartbreaking story about the resilience and joy that can be found in the most surprising of circumstances.
Those interested in a fun, modern, contemporary romance full of second chances should lace up their cleats, put on some shoulder pads, and pick up FUMBLED by Alexa Martin, who also wrote last year’s INTERCEPTED, both romances set in the world of the NFL. Here, Poppy, a single mother who has built a new life and career, suddenly runs into TK Moore, a starting wide receiver and old flame. Long-buried emotions come to the surface and Poppy and TK struggle to rediscover their emotions. Martin writes in a breezy, witty style complete with hashtags and more than a bit of snark with characters always front and center. Fans will cheer for the next chapter in this series.
Set in the New York literary scene of the early 1990s, THE EDITOR by Steven Rowley focuses on the relationship between the young writer of a upcoming novel and his New York editor - who turns out to be Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. As the young writer, James, completes his highly-anticipated semi-autobiographical novel about his dysfunctional family, he is hesitant about working with the world-famous (and sometimes prickly) editor, but she helps and guides him as he finishes the novel, but when family secrets erupt and threaten to upend everything, the editor has a few secrets of her own to share. Rowley, who wrote 2016’s LILY AND THE OCTOPUS, has a gift for punches to the gut that are thoughtful, hilarious, and bittersweet.
MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim is a lush, emotionally moving courtroom drama about a married couple, Young and Pak Yoo, who operate an alternative medical practice with a hyperbaric chamber they claim can cure illnesses from autism to infertility until one day a mysterious explosion destroys the chamber - and kills two people. In the drama that follows, the novel explores the relationships of the Yoo family as well as the residents of the small town of Miracle Creek, with their hopes, loves, desires, and secrets, each relying on the medical practice with the chamber for their own reasons. Perfect for readers who love large ensembles who interrelate and collide, this is a book that begs to be discussed, preferably in a large and boisterous book group.
Helen Ellis, a proper Southern woman who lives in New York, is back with another collection of funny and VERY pointed essays that will leave readers with a smile on their faces. In SOUTHERN LADY CODE, Ellis takes her very particular upbringing and explores topics with warmth and heart alongside her very pointed sense of humor in easily-digestible essays. From Burberry coats to the courtroom of a friend’s trial to ruminations on ghosts, and Ellis writes as if these were told conspiratorially, while drinking a large glass of wine. If you’ve ever laughed at the motto “If you don’t have something nice to say, come and sit by me” then you’d LOVE this.